Our past weekend in numbers: 3 days, 5 institutions, 25 volunteers, 65 square meters of planting beds and 370 kg expected yield.
We have been planting in the backyard of homeless shelters and one children's home, then left the freshly sewed planting beds in the care of the residents. This way they can look forward to having fresh and nutritious vegetables on their table all summer.
Last year all through summer residents of the shelters has grown fresh cucumbers in the shelters’ gardens, so it was a no-brainer to continue our Seeds 4 Hope project this year to try and expand those green areas. This year’s first sowing is done – this past weekend we have prepared the pallet garden beds and have planted all the seeds.
But before we get into details, let’s talk sponsors! We could not have realised last weekend’s project without them. Every single necessary thing has arrived in time, and in the right amount; a huge thank you to Oasis Garden Centers for the soil and seeds and to Lush, Ecoizm, Complexpress Logisztika Ltd. and HARTMANN-RICO Hungária Kft. for the pallets that they provided.
We have visited many different places: not only shelters but also Children’s homes – five locations altogether – and we are especially pleased that we have managed to involve the residents in the project. After all, the aim of this project is not only to provide healthy food but also to provide an example! Working together, people living on the margins of society can have the experience that a little care and attention may bring tasty results for them all through summer.
The kids at the Children’s Home in Breznó has loved the work and have been a great help. They have not only prepared the planting beds with us (8 of them, 16 square meters altogether) and sewn the seeds – they even had the energy to prune and re-plant.
This was not our first visit to the Oliver Twist Foundation. We have expanded the already existing planting beds, so they have 10 square metres to plant now. They have also requested that we add some some chili plants for them.
The residents at the Hungarian Red Cross’ Madrid street’s homeless shelter are one of the most enthusiastic teams. They have formed a gardening club, and are plannig to expand the near 20 square feet of planting beds that they currently have.
At BMSZKI’s shelter at Kőbánya street we have added a composting bin as well as 4 square meters of pallet gardening beds and a 3×3 parcel planted in their garden.
Building the pallets posed a bit of a challenge intially – as out ten-year old volunteer Lora could attest. She has hit her fingers with the hammer quite a few times, but eventually she has got the hang of it. So much so that she has attended three planting sessions out of five! She had fun, and told us: “The best part was when we wrote on the sticks what kind of seeds we have sown where. …And the bread and dripping with onion, of course.” 🙂
25 volunteers have helped create the little vegetable gardens and the result – 65 square meters of seed beds – speaks for itself. We were already familiar with many of the volunteers from last year’s project. Apparently they were not discouraged by some aching backs and dirt under their fingernails! We’ll grow tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, lettuce and strawberries, plus some chili plants as well.
At the Táblás street location of BMSZKI there is also a great collective, who are eagerly looking forward to their first harvest – and we along with them!
We’ll write about it, and share pictures on Facebook. If you would like to join us, contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org